A Haven for Vee

Friday, November 5, 2010

Red Flannel Nightgown

Day five of my giving thanks challenge and I know what you're thinking: red flannel nightgown...oh come on!

It may be a bit of a reach, but I am truly thankful for things that envelop me — warm hugs, cool fog, cozy fleece blankets, and this red flannel nightgown.

Flannel nighties are a part of New England life. I don't know any gal who lives here who doesn't have at least one. It's cold up here. Mighty. Wicked. Whatever adjective you'd like to give it. And we're trying to be frugal with the heat...oil prices being what they are. So a lovely, soft, warm, flannel nighty is just the thing.

Now be honest, do you have a flannel nighty?


Yesterday afternoon, the nursing home called. It is the third time that they were concerned enough to call. My grandmother has stopped using her call button; she sees people in the room that no one else sees and she reaches for them; and she had stopped eating. When we three arrived, my mother, John, and I, she was deep in sleep. Thought that I would do well with this transition because it has been such a long goodbye, but found myself tearing up and when my mother whispered to her, "Don't worry about me. I'll be okay" ...well, let's just say I don't have nerves of steel.

We went out for a quick fast-food bite to eat and when we returned, Nan was perched up in her bed, bright-eyed, and hungry. She ate for the first time in a while and communicated with us even telling John that she loved him and telling my mother how much she loved her. It's all very strange. I know the day is approaching and I will be thankful for that day. It is no tragedy to live to be 101 and to be living in this limbo land between this world and the next is not easy on any of us.

On that note, I'd like to direct you to Mille Fiori Favoriti where Pat shares a video of *the most remarkable 106-year-old woman.*  There is much more to the story and it is a great blessing to see.


  1. I don't have a flannel nightgown, but I do have 4 pair of flannel pajamas! I love them.

    I wish you strength with grandmother...I know how hard this is.

    I did watch Pat's video. Wasn't that woman amazing? Did you see the smile in her eyes....

  2. Flannel nightgowns? One? I use nothing but flannel nightgowns in Winter time! Heavens! And flannel sheets too. And a regular puff and a down puff too! :-) We sleep with no heat upstairs.

    Oh you will be able to conserve more on fuel, this Winter. That's right.

    My heart goes out to all of you, in this Nan story. All of you, her included of course. She's the one living in this never-never-land.

    This again brings to mind, my personal belief... That we should have the right to choose our own time of passing on. WE. Our OWN. While still of sound mind/body. But that's just me.

    Gentle hugs...

  3. Nope...no flannel nightgown over here. But I do have a cozy pair of flannel jammies...not plaid but a coffee cup print. They are great for lounging in the winter.

    You have been taking it 'one day at a time' for a very long time with your Nan. Blessings to you as you walk this part of the journey with her. My friend's mom is celebrating her 100th birthday next week..a very sweet old lady.

    Now I'm off to see Pat's post.

  4. I don't have a flannel nightgown, but I do have a few flannel pj bottoms...very cozy!
    I am praying for you and your family Vee...if I lived close by I would give you a big hug!
    Take care & God bless!


  5. Things that "envelope" you, like warm flannel or even the love of your family which surrounds you. A great thought for today.

    I'm always touched too during that limbo land stage, watching our precious ones and desiring their well-being which may mean departing, and at the same time loving every lingering moment of the life they've shared.

    It comforts me to know that He has all our days planned and knows each breath we take - until our very last. You will be in my thoughts and prayers today.

  6. My favorite winter PJ's are heavy brushed fleece. They are really warm and comfortable.

    My mother-in-law went through this "up and down stage" many times at age 90 before she went to her heavenly reward. It's always emotional to see this happen, no matter what the age. It sounds like she is comfortable, well cared for. and that she knows she is loved. That's a wonderful thing.

    Alice is a marvel, that's for sure! She endured so much in her life but remains so optimistic and cheerful. I think it's a good way to be, whether young or elderly. Her story really touched me. Thanks for sharing the link with your readers.

  7. No, no flannel nightgowns or pajamas here for me, but I do have flannel sheets.

    I pray for Nan, you and your family. I went through this with my gramma too.
    Hang in there. If I were there I'd give you one of those nice hugs!!

  8. Oh sweet Vee. I know all about those calls. I also know about the lingering....how our emotions feel stretched as if they shouldn't be able to stretch any more. I am so happy that your Grandmother was able to communicate so sweetly. What a blessing.

    Flannel? Oh, I have flannel! And I love it!

  9. Dad used to do just what your Gran is doing, Vee. A roller coaster. Hang in there, my friend.
    I had a beloved tartan flannel nighty when the kids were younger. It disintegrated. Mind you, that was after about 10 years! Now you have raised the subject, I think I need a new one.

  10. I did have a red flannel nightgown. I can't find it! It's got to be out there in our storage unit. Do you think it misses me, too?

    Even though it's sad, thank you for the update on your grandmother. I've been there - with my father - so my heart truly does ache for you. I thought he was the best daddy in the world. How blessed we are, Vee, to have these people God chose to be in our lives.

  11. The flannel sheets went on the bed this past week, and it has been a delightly transition to the season. I adore our flannel sheets. I like to sleep unemcumbered (i.e., naked as a jaybird), so flannel sheets are the solution to a restful night when it is cool.

    I am praying that you find strength in the days ahead with Nan. These are not easy times.

  12. We are about to put the flannel sheets on tomorrow, Vee... so don't feel badly. It's chilly down here, already, too!

    My own dear mother died two years ago this October at 94. We watched her become more child-like with each month for the last two years, and at the end, she called me Mother more than Mary Ann... it's the circle of life... but so hard to accept that a loved one is going on before you. I'll remember you in my prayers tonight.

  13. Yes! I LOVE flannel nightgowns - I prefer them to pj's because I always manage to shrink the bottoms...
    Praying for you and your mom during this time. I know it's not easy - my mom is going through a very similar situation but her mom lives down south and we live in New England. I hate the sound of the phone ringing early in the morning...

  14. Flannel footie jammies. It doesn't get better than that.

    I've said a quick prayer for you Gran, and I know that her loved ones are gathering to welcome her home. My Mom did the same thing and her face was so beautiful when she went home that I knew everyone had made to trip to greet her!
    hugs to you all

  15. No flannel jammies here. We have a heated mattress pad that we turn on in the winter. Very cozy. Sometimes I go to bed during the day and turn it on LOL!

    I know how hard this journey is with your Grandmother. My MIL went through a similar process plus throw in dialysis. Praying you all find stregth for the days ahead.


  16. Oh yes. Flannel pjs and sheets.
    God bless your Nan. I continue to keep her (and the rest of you) in prayer.

  17. Vee, I think Gwendolyn said it best - about the lingering of your sweet Nan. I, too, have seen loved ones go through that, too. Parting with those we love, even tho it may be a blessing for them, is always hard. It is so sweet to hear that your mom gave Nan permission, too, and assured her that she would be okay.

    You are in my prayers, friend.

    No flannels here, I'm afraid. And the reason is not because I don't enjoy the warmth. It's because I can't turn in the bed. The flannel sticks to the sheets and I like to slither when I turn over, not have to readjust! haha! Besides, I'm in Texas, and I'm at that age where I never get cold! I usually sleep with one foot sticking out!

  18. I don't have a fannel nightgown but I have pleanty of fleese blankets that we all cuddle up with. Now I'm thinking I just might get myself a fannel nightgown. I gave them up during my old hot flash days :>)
    I'm sorry you and your family have been going through so much. Life is very difficult. It really is hard to let go no matter what the age may be. I think you and your family are so strong. I admire all of you so much. I continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

  19. This post proved very prophetic: Nan seeing people in the room, then having a "rally" where she ate and visited a bit. This is such a typical end of life pattern. I've read several articles about the phenomenon of seeing people in the room at the end of life...do our loved one really come to help us pass over to the other side?

    Our 97 year old Great Aunt passed away last night, after the same sort of rally. It is such a blessing when family get that final lucid moment to be together.